(MTN News-Helena) Over the weekend, one of the most active volcanoes around the world came alive in Alaska.

In this week’s weather wise, the force and effect of a volcano can be felt far and wide, something Montanans should be aware of considering we live near the Yellowstone super volcano.

The Pavlof volcano began erupting in Alaska’s Aleutian islands on Easter Sunday. Ash spewed 20,000  feet into the air. Tremors were felt 100 miles away and the volcano continues to erupt right now.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a red aviation alert in response to the ash cloud, which required local and regional flights to be re-routed.

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Volcanic ash is tough and abrasive, and can quickly cause wear to propellers and turbo compressor blades.  Ash can also scratch the cockpit windows, contaminate airplane fuel and water systems, jam up gears, and lead to complete engine failure.

Pavlof’s eruption is nothing new as there have been more than 40 eruptions recorded which have lasted several days up to several weeks.

What’s surprising about this eruption is that it was a surprise. There was little to no warning from seismology instruments. Sometimes, tremors deep inside the volcano can be detected prior to eruption, but Pavlof was quite abrupt.

Large volcanic eruptions can have global implications.  Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991. which led to widespread global cooling and many locations around the world recorded a harsh winter following that event.  Pinatubo was the second largest volcano eruption in the 20th century.  The largest eruption was in the Alaskan peninsula in the year 1912.

The Yellowstone super volcano is still active, and could erupt at any point.  In worst case scenario, it would erupt with a force 1,000 times great than Mount St. Helens, spewing toxic ash across two thirds of the United States.

Let’s just hope it gives a little more warning than the Pavlof eruption.

 

 

Reporter: Curtis Grevenitz 

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